Edward Stafford Northam, 82, passed away on March 13, 2010 at his home in Orono of congestive heart failure. He was born October 18, 1927 in Lansing, Michigan, the son of Edward Arthur Northam and Mildred Carolyn McMillan.

Edward earned Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Master of Science in Physics degrees from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and received a Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics degree from Michigan State University in 1953. From 1953 to 1954 he worked in the Research Department at Bendix Aviation in Detroit, before beginning his teaching career at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan where he taught mathematics from 1954 to 1964. While on sabbatical in 1961, he visited Princeton University.

In 1964, he and his family moved from Michigan to Orono, Maine where he grew to love the state of Maine and taught mathematics at the University of Maine, transferring to the Computer Science Department in 1985 where he played an integral part in building the University’s computer science teaching program. He continued to teach at the University as a Professor of Computer Science until his retirement in 1991.

Maine was Edward’s favorite place to live, and he especially enjoyed hiking in Acadia National Park with his children. Edward truly enjoyed teaching and mentoring students, and was an avid chess player, competing in tournaments in the 1950s and 1960s and conducting research in his later years into new chess game variants including Chess960 where he created new methods that can be used by players to determine the starting positions of their pieces. He also enjoyed the Chinese game Go.

Edward dedicated his professional career and his life to helping and inspiring others. During his teaching career of 37 years, he assisted many students with research projects and their studies, and took great pride in inspiring students to learn and explore knowledge. He especially enjoyed helping students discover for themselves the answers to their questions.

At home, he deeply cared for his wife and family, and was widely regarded in the community for his kindness, generosity, and his passion for life and helping others. In recent years, he took great joy in spending time with his three grandchildren and enjoyed watching them grow.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Jean Smolak Northam of Orono; his two children, son Mark Northam, wife Rebecca Lee and grandchild Lynelle Northam of Sydney, Australia, daughter Diane Northam, husband Thomas Pope and grandchildren Anne Kailin Northam and Adric Northam of Braddock Hills, Pennsylvania; his sister Nancy Northam of Portland, Oregon and her sons John P. (Raj), Robert, Peter, Paul and Stephen; brother in law George Smolak and wife Frances, sister in law Anna Eldridge, and many nieces and nephews.